Castro Valley Library


Banned Books Week Sept 25-Oct 2 Battling Censorship by library1.5
Monday, September 27, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: Libraries, News, Uncategorized

Reprinted American Libraries Association Press release 9/21/2010

Book banning alive and well in the U.S.
Banned Books Week

Macey Morales
Public Information Office (PIO)

Nation confronts censorship head-on during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2

CHICAGO – What do books from the Twilight series, “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Catcher in the Rye” have in common? All have faced removal from library bookshelves in the United States within the past year.

From coast to coast, libraries and bookstores will battle censorship and celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, 2010. Thousands of participants will read from banned or challenged books and will discuss the impact censorship has on civil liberties.

Each year, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives hundreds of reports on book challenges, which are formal written requests to remove a book from a library or classroom because of an objection to the book’s content. There were 460 recorded attempts to remove materials from libraries in 2009 and more than 11,000 attempts recorded since OIF began compiling information on book challenges in 1990.

“Not every book is right for each reader, but we should have the right to think for ourselves and allow others to do the same,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “The founders of this nation protected freedom of expression based on their conviction that a diversity of views and ideas is necessary for a vital, functioning democracy. Danger does not arise from viewpoints other than our own; the danger lies in allowing others to decide for us and our communities which reading materials are appropriate. How can we live in a free society and develop our own opinions if our right to choose reading materials for ourselves and our families is taken away? We must remain diligent and protect our freedom to read.”

In many cases, it is only through public concern and citizen involvement that books are saved from confiscation or from being kept under lock and key. For example in Stockton, Mo., concerned citizens spoke out during school board meetings and persuaded the school board to reconsider its ban of Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award –winning novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” While the work of these citizens is not done, their ongoing campaign to encourage the Stockton school board to reverse its decision demonstrates how public support for the right to read freely can help prevent the suppression of literature and ideas.

This year will mark the 29th annual celebration of Banned Books Week. This year’s observance will kick off in Chicago on Sept. 25, as best-selling banned authors participate in a “Read Out!” event. Participating authors include the most frequently challenged author of 2009, Lauren Myracle (the ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r series); Chris Crutcher (“Athletic Shorts”) and many others.

Many bookstores and libraries celebrating Banned Books Week will showcase selections from the ALA OIF’s “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009.” The list is released each spring and serves as a comprehensive snapshot of book removal attempts in the U.S. The “Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009” reflects a range of themes and consists of the following titles:

ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle

“And Tango Makes Three,” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

“The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

“To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee

Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer

“Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger

“My Sister’s Keeper,” by Jodi Picoult

“The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things,” by Carolyn Mackler

“The Color Purple,” Alice Walker

“The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

For more information on Banned Books Week, book challenges and censorship, please visit the Office of Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Web site at http://www.ala.org/bbooks.

Link below to 2009-2010 challenges with reasons why books were challenged
http://www.ila.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=114:banned-books&catid=38:issues&Itemid=173

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